A day after turning down a potential rematch with Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz has apparently had a change of heart, as UFC President Dana White announced moments ago that “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” will face Evans in the main event of UFC 133 in a little over three weeks.
“Get ready philly for Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz!!! Aug 6th LIVE on PPV at the Wells Fargo Center!!!!!!,” White wrote on his Twitter.
Ortiz will be filling in for Evans’ original opponent, Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis, who was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a knee injury.
Evans hasn’t fought since becoming the number one contender to the light heavyweight title by defeating Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by unanimous decision at UFC 114 in May of 2010. Evans decided to bide his time and allow then-champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to recover from knee surgery. Following an unfortunate sparring injury incurred while preparing for the planned title shot, Evans gave his blessing for younger training partner Jon Jones to step up and fight for the light heavyweight championship in his stead, who dominated Shogun en route to winning the title via third round TKO.
Evans was then slated to face Jones, however, before the fight could be booked, Jones bowed out to rehab a hand injury and Evans took the fight with Davis. With Davis’ injury, Evans now gets the chance to rematch Ortiz, with whom he had fought to a draw at UFC 73. Ortiz actually outpointed Evans in that fight on all of the judges scorecards, however was deducted a point for holding the cage while defending a takedown. White promised a rematch after that fight, and four years later, the rematch is a reality.
Ortiz reclaimed divisional relevancy by beating rising prospect Ryan Bader at UFC 132 earlier this month, his first win since defeating Ken Shamrock in 2006. Ortiz took out the young gun in classic MMA fashion: dropping him to the mat with a short right hand and then finishing him with a guillotine, utilizing his underrated submission skills. Proving that the ending of any MMA fight can never be declared a foregone conclusion, Ortiz improved his record to 16-8-1, earning his third ever submission win.
UFC 133 will take place on August 6, 2011 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.